Balanced Living for Creatives

Balanced Living for Creatives
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January 25, 2008

Third Stage washes


This stage is about adjusting colors--adding blue greens towards the back; darkening the shadow areas; yellow glazes towards the front. Also, increasing saturation of colors helps to emphasize the highlight areas.

January 13, 2008

Second Stage Layers


There is ancreased saturation of colors. Really working at building of form. The plant takes on depth and dimension. Increased focus on spatial clarity--overlapping elements, hard and soft edges, receding colors, and all as contrasts.

January 9, 2008

First stage analysis

The washes in the illustration below are the first layer. Colors used were carefully chosen with regards to spatial clarity and atmospheric perspective. "What!?!?!?!" all you landscape painters will complain. "How can you have atmospheric perspective in a matter of a few inches of depth?!?!?!" That is part of the illusion of botanical illustration.
To start this painting I used basically three colors: a yellow-green, a bright middle-green, and a grayed-up green. Some artists begin with a flat wash over the surfaces, but I like to start introducing form right away. The closest leaves begin with a pale yellow-green wash, preserving any white for highlights. The three front leaves are painted in the bright middle-green. The three back leaves are painted in the grayed-up green. This begins the illusion of atmospheric perspective. I'm afraid my scan does not show the true subtle differences in the colors.
yellow-green = hansa yellow + cerulean
middle-green = cerulean + hansa yellow
grayed-up green = cerulean + cadmium yellow

January 8, 2008

Botanical Illustration: First Stage Washes


This is the first layer of watercolor washes. Each new layer beyond this builds form, depth, and increases saturation of color.

January 5, 2008

Botanical Illustration: Value Study


This is a graphite pencil drawing. It is a value study to follow as the color painting is built up.

January 4, 2008

Botanical Illustration


Here is one of the first steps in botanical illustration. This is an accurate, contour line drawing of the specimen. This is a simple, small, illustration of rhododendron leaves. This is an example that I use in my watercolor classes.

January 3, 2008

What's this scribble?


This is a scribble drawing. It's relaxing to do these in pen and ink, because it's simple, repetitive, and doesn't take a lot of thought. Not like botanical illustration at all!